I am sitting on my deck with a cup of hot English breakfast tea enjoying the sun and the sounds of summer. It is 6:30 am as I find it difficult to sleep when the birds are calling me to come outside to enjoy the morning. Normally on a day like this, I would grab my backpack and jump on my bike for an early morning ride, but I am recovering from surgery. Yuck
A few weeks ago I had several gallbladder attacks and after a full day in emergency with the wonderful staff at the Sturgeon hospital, it was determined I had gallstones, holy cow!
It was one of the last things I ever thought I would suffer from as I have eaten a low fat, healthy diet for years and had the first attack after eating steamed veggies and chicken.
A visit to the surgeon and magically in less than a month, I was preparing for a day at the U of A Hospital to have the darned gallbladder removed. Because I think I am super woman, I of course down-played the seriousness of the surgery, even the surgeon was questioning my attitude. I had been told that if they did it laparoscopically, it would be a breeze, back to normal in no time. And believe me I have a high pain threshold, but it took the wind out of my sails for a week. I am also a little stubborn on the drug front, I would rather be in pain than feel sick, so I was, alot...
Those of you that know me well, know that I never go through any experience without reflecting on my feelings and thoughts and what I learned from them. And I love to share...
What is a friend?
Times when I am sick or feeling overwhelmed, I look around for support and unfortunately because I ask for it so rarely, I find that there are few people that know what is really going on in my life. I have a zillion friends on facebook, my fabulous at 50 friends and many others that I would consider to be friends and yet I still felt alone. I am not telling you this so that you will feel bad or feel sorry for me, because I set this up. Only me.. I know what it takes to create strong bonds and chatting on facebook or having lunch at a business networking group doesn't really fit the bill to building the type of relationships I want.
But I guess what I want to question is the amount of time we (I) spend on facebook, twitter or at networking groups, thinking we are building relationships. To build true relationships, we need to be there for each other, not just a comment or a like on Facebook. I strive for 10’s in every relationship, whether it is my hair stylist, my trainer or someone who lives next door. I don’t mean I am pounding at their doors, but I really want to know who they are and love to find a way to connect and find some common ground.
So my lesson has been to be more conscious and aware of the people around me, are they ill or having a challenge and how can I support them.
This society of social media has created this friend from a distance mentality, I find it sad and I know that I will look at these situations different moving forward.Ever watch the movie Crash, that was all about the lack of connection between people and what they would do to connect.
A few weeks ago I ran into an old neighbor, from a period in my life you could say was tragic. I was 20 years old and newly married and within a year I found myself widowed. Janet and her family, filled my fridge with delicious Ukrainian food, checked on me, made me feel cared for, I will never forget that kindness. To say the least, when I saw Janet and her daughter Linda, my eyes welled up with tears at the memories of those times. And to fill you in, Linda was nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Education Category. When I read the YWCA profile on her, I knew that the wonderful things that she is doing today with children is a direct result of being raised in a family that understands about giving.
I love volunteering and raising money for the needy, but ladies, there is someone right now in your circle, your neighborhood and probably someone in your family , that could use a helping hand or kind word.
There is a wonderful quote by Maya Angelou…
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
P.s. It is interesting how things fall into place. Earlier this year, I had decided that I would dedicate more of my time to being a service in the community instead of spending time at networking events and Facebook time, so I had contacted the YWCA and am going to start doing some work with them. I was very fortunate as well to be invited to the Norquest College's 1,000 women, Million Possibilities luncheon. Over 550 women came together this year to raise funds to support the students at the college. Stories were told of women who walked 2 hours to Norquest because they didn't have bus tickets, and women who went without food for days but never missed a day of school. Yes this is in our city...right here, people need help. 80% of the college is women, with over 50% being from other countries. Many are single mothers, who don’t know the language well or are in non-supportive relationships. These are women who want to change, who are doing everything in their power to making it happen and I am so thrilled to be part of the 1,000 women who are going to make it easier for them. If your are in interested in helping Norquest reach their goal of one million dollars, go to www.1000women.ca
Enjoy the day, your friends, your life and health,
it is a precious commodity!
Fabulously Yours, Dianna
Dianna Bowes is the founder of Fabulous@50 and the editor of Be Fabulous! magazine. Dianna was the winner of the 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Turning Point Category.
A couple more stories about Friendship and social media
Are Facebook Friends Really Your Friends.
Facebook changing the meaning of friendship